An Album a Day is my exploration into the Korean music scene. This podcast will cover mainstream, indie and some underground artists within the scene and provide both factual and opinionated commentary. The biggest benefit to sharing my thoughts this way is that it will hopefully expose you to more great music and exploration of your own.
Within this K-pop fangirl experience, I’ve had just a handful of correct predictions: 2017 was the official start of girl groups taking more risks and making their presence known, BTS would release an album featuring solos by each member, B.A.P. would come back for one last hoorah in 2018, Wonho wouldn’t come back to Monsta X, G-Dragon’s government-named album was the end of an era; and in a 2019 ATEEZ, along with another group whose name I’ll withhold until later in this episode, are the next big thing. The album that sealed the deal, right after the drop.
You’re tuned into An Album a Day. Show, start.
Hey y’all. I wish I could find the tweet within my archives to back me. As an online content creator, I download all my tweets annually – I don’t like saying that I said something without receipts and I definitely don’t like providing social media with more than it already has of things to jab back at me about. I said it, nonetheless, I absolutely said it. And how could I possibly know such a thing when I hadn’t listened to any of Ateez’s music until this point in time, you’re wondering? I know momentum in entertainment. I know trends, knew journalistic buzz, and I knew from the moment the Internet was buzzing over their KQ Fellaz videos that something attention grabbing was coming from an unexpected label.
I had no musical proof to back this whatsoever beforehand. However, after listening to Treasure EP.3: One to All and Treasure EP.Fin: All to Action, the statement I made last week about Ateez declaring they’re going nowhere was solidified.
First, One to All. At the time of this recording, it is winter in my country. Listening to this bubbly, warm, summer-birthed 18-minute EP while wearing layers was ridiculous. The album’s crafted with this vibe intentionally, as it pulls from moombahton, a genre of music derived from EDM, house, and reggaeton. This is the first time I’ve identified an album in Korean pop idol music that drives that genre home. It is sonically pleasing and consistent from start to finish, despite picking a horrible time to listen to it, climate-wise.
All to Action though? ATEEZ delivered a dynamic 30-minute hip-hop and R&B experience that even they used to announce that they don’t know what’s next, but they know who’s next: themselves. This is a no-skip album, truly. And the greatest flex of the entire first studio album is the trifecta of tracks 4, 5, and 6. The time between these two projects is four months – June and October 2019, respectively – is a small window of time to level up so greatly as a group. It’s insane. It’s genuinely insane how much they progressed in such a short time.
Eden and his team? Touch his face. It’s not time yet for me to dive into the production nuances but understand that singer-songwriter Eden, a name associated with ATEEZ’s sound since their debut, put a whole, entire, moisturized foot into the process of this album. As I said earlier, ATEEZ and another group, Stray Kids (who made their debut a year before ATEEZ in 2017), are ones to watch.
I feel confined by not getting deeper into it! This self-inflicted restriction is equal parts needing to clean up my content on this podcast so that it appeals to wider English-speaking audiences who don’t prefer to hear explicit language and the desire to secure more sponsorship. I’m going to get into it the way that only I can through A3Day Sister Show, please anticipate!
K-pop fans on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being essential listening and 1 not worth mentioning, the A3Day rating for both albums are 5s. Stick a star above All to Action and trust that I’ll be coming back to that one with all the colorful commentary it deserves.
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